Nutritional status and prevalence of abdominal obesity in adolescents aged 11 to 15 years in Vojvodina (the Republic of Serbia)

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Rada S Rakić
Tatjana Pavlica
Miroslav Smajic
Jelena Bjelanovic


nutritional condition; abdominal obesity; adolescents


Introduction/Aim Inadequate nutritional condition of adolescents (underweight or overweight/obesity) is a growing problem worldwide. This study was carried out to determine nutritional condition and the prevalence of abdominal obesity in a sample of adolescents living in Vojvodina. Methods Cross-sectional anthropometric surveys were conducted in 2012-2014 and 2017.  The surveys included 1592 adolescents (706 boys and 886 girls) aged 11- 15. The subjects were classified into four groups: underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese, according to the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF). Abdominal obesity (AO) was assessed according to waist circumference (WC) ≥ 90th percentile, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) ≥ 0.9 and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) ≥ 0.5. Results The total prevalence of underweight was 12.2%, normal weight 69.3%, overweight 14.5 % and obesity 4.0%. A total of 10.1% subjects showed abdominal obesity based on WC, 14.0% on WHR and 14.6% based on WHtR. When the four groups were evaluated in terms of abdominal obesity status, the prevalence was 0.0%, 2.6% and 0.0% in the underweight,  2.0%, 11.8% and 3.5% in the normal, 37.2%, 29.0% and 59.7% in the overweight, and 82.5%, 33.3% and 88.9% in the obese groups according to WC, WHR and WHtR. Conclusion Boys showed greater prevalence of general and abdominal obesity than girls. The highest abdominal obesity in the overweight and obese adolescents was observed in relation toWHtR ≥ 0.5, both in boys and girls. Abdominal obesity is a condition that should be given more attention, including non-obese adolescents as well, in order to prevent health problems.


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